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A Comparison Between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

Aftab Alam
Aftab Alam | Updated On - 02 Jun 2021 |

With OneDrive for Business and SharePoint offering centralized storage facilities with many similar benefits, many users are in doubt regarding which is the best for them. Though both these platforms are from Microsoft and are similar, they are not the same. They are designed for distinct purposes, though they complement each other to meet the requirements of the organization. So, it is essential for administrators to understand both these platforms to use them very effectively for the management of the data. Here we will compare both these platforms discussing their similarities and differences.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business from Microsoft provides a centrally accessible storage facility for the entire organization. Users can store and share data as per organizational needs. With facilities like versions, templates, workflows, auditing, OneDrive for Business is more than just a storage facility. However, it doesn’t have marketing resources like social media and websites, which are considered very essential nowadays. So, it is just a content storing and sharing application.

SharePoint

Microsoft SharePoint is a complete collaboration and content management application for enterprises with facilities like versioning, workflow, permissions, co-authoring, intranet, publishing, and more.

SharePoint can be used to make company websites, create and store various company documents, and also create web apps. Employees can view and access the company website from anywhere and download essential documents.

OneDrive for Business and SharePoint – How are they similar?

It is not easy to mark the boundaries between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint clearly. Both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint provide centralized access to information and are available on the cloud, providing features like sharing, versioning, access control, etc. But what’s the use of OneDrive when SharePoint has many features of OneDrive. When they have similar functionalities, why are they different and not a single product?

Though they are complementary products and have similar features, they differ in many aspects. OneDrive is merely a data storage cabin for you and your team, whereas SharePoint is a complete collaboration product. SharePoint provides dashboards, tasks, notifications, calendars, etc., along with the facilities for internet and company portals to distribute information.

But while looking for a collaboration platform, administrators are always confused about which one to go for – SharePoint or OneDrive for Business, or both together? So, we will go through their differences in detail.

  • Specific users vs. many users

    OneDrive for Business is basically a product to ensure data availability to the desired users. It is a product for data synchronization. In OneDrive for Business, data sharing as per the requirement of the organization. But SharePoint is a product to ensure data availability to all users from anywhere. In SharePoint, data is shared with many users. So, it makes the data available always from anywhere.

  • Storing vs. collaboration

    OneDrive for Business is basically a storing and sharing application, where is SharePoint is a collaboration application. OneDrive for Business allows users to store documents privately and share them with team members or others as per the requirements. But SharePoint facilities real-time collaboration and enhances teamwork. SharePoint eliminates the need for one-to-one messaging and file sharing.

  • Sharing vs. publishing

    It is a major difference between both platforms. While using OneDrive for Business, you share files with other users, mostly to accomplish a common task. It can be shared as email links also. But in SharePoint, you publish it on intranet sites where it is available to everyone. They can view or download them.

OneDrive for Business vs. SharePoint – a comparison table

OneDrive for Business SharePoint
Main function File storing and sharing Collaboration
Data sharing Individual file storage that can be shared with specific users or group Makes data available to all users
Other Microsoft applications Integrates with Microsoft Teams Integrates with multiple applications
Publishing Can share data only Can publish on internet sites
Features Not many additional features Additional features like tasks, notifications, calendar, news, etc.
Cloud version availability Available on cloud Available on cloud

Which one to choose – SharePoint or OneDrive for Business?

As you can see, SharePoint and OneDrive for Business have complementary features. So, it is better if organizations have both together if their budget permits them, and they can benefit from both the applications. If they just have content sharing needs only, OneDrive for Business is enough for them. But if they are looking for advanced collaborative features, SharePoint is definitely what they need.

Do you need to backup SharePoint or OneDrive for Business data?

There is a perception that SharePoint and OneDrive data is secure. And this is right to a large extent due to the extremely brilliant security features of these applications. But there are some rare situations in which the security of SharePoint or OneDrive for Business data also is compromised. Backing up the OneDrive for Business and SharePoint data is the only precaution for this. You can try Kernel Migrator for SharePoint to backup OneDrive for Business and SharePoint data. Due to its advanced features like backup, migration, etc., this is one of the most essential tools for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint administrators.

Conclusion

OneDrive for Business and SharePoint are two different, yet complementary platforms from Microsoft. Though many organizations like to have these applications together, one can choose any one of them as per their requirements. NO matter which platform you are using, it is important that you back up the data regularly to avoid any unexpected disasters. You can use Kernel Migrator for SharePoint for backing up both the OneDrive for Business and SharePoint data.